Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to Nepal this month comes at a time when the country is showing sign of polarisation on religious line with the K P Oli-led Communist government facing the heat for co-hosting the Asia Pacific summit-2018 along with the Unification church last week.
Adityanath is also head priest of Gorakhpur’s Gorakhnath Mutt which has a substantial following in Nepal. Despite objection from a top leader of Nepal’s main opposition party, Adityanath is slated to visit Janakpur, the Ramayan-era capital now in Nepal, as the chief guest during the customary wedding anniversary of Lord Ram and Sita, on December 12.
Bimalendra Nidhi, vice-chairman of Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, and a former deputy PM of Nepal, who had opposed Adityanath’s presence at the event, not only retracted his statement issued a week ago, but also appealed to his workers to make the CM’s visit a success.
“We had initially wanted to put out our view point before Adityanath so that he doesn’t not do anything to undermine the secular credentials of the Nepali constitution, but we feel betrayed by our own government since the entire cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, was working for the church sponsored event,” a senior parliamentarian of the ruling Nepal Communist Party told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity. Adityanath’s visit is important as Modi, who had initially expressed his willingness to attend the event, later chose to send him as his representative, fueling speculation that the demand for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and by extension the Hindutva issue will dominate BJP’s poll agenda in 2019 polls.